Bejeweled in Bangkok

This morning we woke up to a torrential downpour as we are here for the start of the rainy season. It was far too wet and rainy outside for Ed so he stayed at the hotel for the day.  Today was our first day of class in Bangkok that wasn’t lecture based at Sasin. First we were off to Pranda Jewelers. We were greeted with a package of treats and crysanthemum tea which tasted just like fruit loops! They took us through their show rooms so we could salivate over the gorgeous jewlery. A member of the family that owned PRANDA explained how they make PRANDA sustainable through people, production and society. We were then walked through the factorty to ooh and awe over the intricate methods of how to hand-construct the jewlery.

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We managed to stay sheltered out of the rain during our factory tour, where we were able to see the jewelry “architects of craftsmanship” working in their different skilled departments.  Next, we viewed where the company has their child care center, which offers child care services for workers where they can drop off and pick up their kids before and after work. Pranda is a leader for sustainability in their industry in Thailand and treating their employees like family.  They offer an array of exceptional services and training programs that are far above the standards. As such, Pranda believes that if they invest in their employees they will be motivated to perform well at their skilled labor job.  After our tour we received a 50% discount on the jewelry in their factory store, where everyone did multiple laps of the shop, indecisive on what piece of hand crafted jewelry to purchase!  The majority of students purchased items either for themselves or as gifts for those at home.  We left the factory, boarded our bus and departed for our lunch.

For lunch we sat at tables of six where we were served a set meal that we shared multiple plates – this has been a great way to try new things without having to order your own entire dish.  There has been a lot of questionable looking and unfamiliar food, which has resulted in some new favorite foods for us.

Next up, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). But first, back on the bus we go!

We were welcomed to the SET by two tour guides, who walked us through the SET informative museum where we learned about our investment opportunities, savings and retirement goals, the “money monsters”, and viewed the SET library.  A guest speaker talked to us about some of the sustainable development aspects incorporated into the SET building, including some of the LEED certification qualities that had incorporated.

Everyone took photos with the Bear and the Bull statue, the symbol of changes in the economy where the bear is the downturn and the bull is the upswing.  It was a great day of company visits where we saw some of the aspects we learned in our two days of lectures at Sasin implemented in real corporations in Thailand.  Then we loaded back on our bus to the hotel, where we were joined our friend Ed for the evening. Next off, to get ready for our day at the rice fields tomorrow!

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Blog post submitted by Korea Thailand Study Tour participants Janelle, Brett, Tessa-Rae and Caitlyn.